Halftime update: OSU leads WSU, 24-6
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Washington State was brutalized during the first two quarters of Saturday’s game at Oregon State and trails, 24-6, at halftime. OSU has outgained the Cougars 394 yards to 188, and the three-score lead only somewhat reflects the degree to which the Beavers have outplayed their favored opponent.
That the Cougars are only down 18 points seems a bit of mercy. While WSU did manage a score on Luke Falk’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Tavares Martin with 4:39 left in the first half, Erik Powell’s extra point was blocked.
The first quarter could not have gone worse for the Cougars, except that it could have gone much, much worse. WSU was lucky to escape trailing only 14-0. To only be down two scores, the Cougars needed OSU to miss a 45-yard field goal attempt, allow Luke Falk to wriggle out of a possible safety, and drop at least two interceptions, one of which likely would have been returned for a touchdown.
Mike Leach called timeout after another long run by Ryan Nall, who scored the game’s first touchdown on an 89-yard wind sprint. The game’s second score came when Marcus McMaryion found Nall in the flat on the next possession. Nall reeled in the quick pass and ran 19-yards untouched for the score.
McMaryion entered Saturday’s game having never passed for 200 yards in a game. He threw for 234 in the first half alone against the Cougars.
Leach’s timeout proved effective, temporarily.
The WSU defense held OSU to just two yards over the next three plays, forcing the Beavers to concede possession. The Cougars began the ensuing drive with a 27-yard pass to River Cracraft. Gabe Marks forced a pass interference on the next play. But Cracraft later fumbled after hauling in a pass that would have given the Cougars first down, OSU recovered and the Cougars lost what momentum they had gained.
The Beavers made it a route with 7:04 left in the first half. Former starting quarterback Seth Collins, now a wide receiver, lined up in a wildcat formation with McMaryion at wide receiver. The ball was flipped to McMaryion, who flung it to Collins, who snuck out of the backfield, caught the pass and ran 46